Cisco Says Global Internet Traffic Will Triple by 2017

More people are using the internet today than ever before, with millions upon millions of users logging on every day. In just a few short years, internet connectivity has transformed from a rare luxury to standard issue for homes, businesses and cafes all over the world. As technology continues to grow and expand, experts now predict that global internet traffic will triple by 2017.

This astonishing figure is backed largely by increasing use of mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets. Now that smart phone users are capable of connecting to the internet from their handheld devices, they are free to check up on email, browse the web, visit social networks and even stream live video on the go. Mobile connectivity is rapidly expanding as more and more users make the jump to smart phone service. Before long, mobile browsing could even eclipse home internet use.

Cisco offers an estimated figure of 1.4 zettabytes of total internet traffic by 2017. Throughout the entire history of the internet as we know it, from 1984 to the most recent statistics of 2012, internet users worldwide have logged 1.2 zettabytes. This means that over the course of nearly 30 years, global internet traffic has averaged just over .04 zettabytes, and in the next 3 years we’ll be logging a substantially higher level of traffic.

To give some idea of scale, a zettabyte is equal to approximately 1 billion terabytes, or 1 trillion gigabytes.

An estimated 3.6 billion people worldwide will have access to the internet, which is close to half of the world’s projected population of 7.6 billion in just a few short years. Less than a third of the world’s population had regular internet access in 2012. As internet access becomes increasingly common all over the world, high speed connections are expected to advance as well. Broadband speeds will be 3 times faster by 2017, accommodating an even greater amount of internet traffic than experts anticipate.

Video will comprise a significant portion of the increase in global internet traffic. The expected increase in download speeds will allow users greater convenience in video streaming, allowing for more high definition video to move through the net all over the world. Cisco predicts that global internet users will be producing 3 trillion minutes of video per month by 2017, creating a huge jump in both upload and download rates.

As internet traffic expands to more and more devices including TVs and mobile devices, traffic is set to soar. Traffic from non-PC sources is expected to account for half of all internet traffic by 2017. Tablet and smart phone traffic will be increasing by approximately 100 percent and 80 percent respectively, while TV internet traffic jumps by close to 25 percent. Personal computer traffic will be experiencing the smallest growth of all, at just under 15 percent.

If these predictions come true, broadband providers all over the world will be under increased pressure to provide. The world is becoming increasingly centered around data, and this vast increase in internet traffic has huge implications. The internet is developing in ways we’d never anticipated, and it is growing fast.

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